As the Jewish holiday of Purim, approaches, I have an impending expectancy of the goodness of God.

Purim 2022 begins on Wednesday night, March 16 and continues through Thursday, March 17. Purim is not a holiday required by God in Jewish custom but a holiday which celebrates the goodness and the mercy of God.

Many of us are familiar with the story of Esther and Haman’s plot to annihilate the Jews in a single day.  In the book of Esther, King Ahasuerus’ wife, Queen Vashti was executed because she failed to follow his orders.  He set out to find a new queen, consequently, Esther became the chosen queen.  The king, however, did not know she was a Jew, neither did Haman.

Haman was a hater of Jews.  He was also the prime minister of the empire.  Haman learned that Mordechai, Esther’s cousin, refused to bow to him and this infuriated Haman. In his anger, he developed a plan to convince the king to issue a decree that would ultimately kill all the Jews.

Mordechai wasn’t going down without a fight.  He knew the God he served, and he trusted in His faithfulness.  He believed if they called on God, he would deliver them. He met with Esther, they all fasted and prayed for three days and then she went before the king.  In the end, God intervened through his people.  Haman, an enemy to the Jews, hung on his own gallows the very day he planned to kill the Jews.

Oh, how things can change when God’s people have faith in his promises and his goodness.

Mordechai, Esther and the Jewish community had trust in their covenant with God and that trust brought forth Gods mercy.  It not only delivered God’s people but annihilated their enemy as well.

Each year the Jews celebrate Purim and remember the hand of the Lord and how his faithfulness came through on that joyful day of deliverance from their enemy.

Here are some ways they observe this joyful holiday.

  • Read the book of Esther, recounting the miracle of Purim
  • Give money gifts to at least two people
  • Send gifts of two kinds of food to at least one person
  • They enjoy a Purim feast

The Jewish people in Esther’s day trusted in God and he delivered them.  Trust is defined as; a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Just as in Esther’s day, we must adhere to a firm belief in the reliability and strength of our God.

God is the same, today, yesterday, and forever more. (Heb 13:8) He remains the God who delivers his people when they cry out to him.  Isaiah 59 says, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him (Ps 91:15.)

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth (Ps 145:18.)

Whether you observe this holiday or not, Purim is a great time to remember and celebrate the goodness and the faithfulness of God.  It’s also a good time to remember without the action of God’s people, deliverance would not have come.  Mordechai trusted God, however, he still had to act.  Esther also trusted God, yet again, action was required.  She had to risk her very life to go before the king and save the Jews.  Their prayers, their faith and their actions caused God to move on their behalf.

Today, many of us feel much like the Jews of that day.  The enemy is set on annihilating Christians and their beliefs – our very freedoms are at stake.  We can’t sit by and let it happen.  We must act.  We must trust in God and his faithfulness.  We must pray, fast, and seek his face.  And, if he instructs us to act in other ways, we must be quick to obey.  As we do, we will, like Esther and Mordechai see the goodness of God turn all things meant for our harm, for our good.  He is the same God – He still sees.  He still hears.  He still acts on behalf of his people.  And…He still delivers his children while removing their enemies.  If we celebrate nothing else, may we celebrate that.

 

 

Appoint My Days

I am clothed with humility because I am humble…I enjoy an abundance of peace.  My joy in the Lord shall increase.  I have wisdom.  I have riches and honor and life. God gives me grace. God hears my desires.  God guides me in justice and teaches me His way.  God revives my spirit.

1 Peter 5:5, Psalm 37:11, Isaiah 29:19, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 22:4, Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, Psalm 10:17, Psalm 25:9, Isaiah 57:15